With a stunning second round, Robert Sean Leckie earned a win in the Friday night $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard Double Down Farm LLC’s entry, Easy Street HU. Amateur rider Caroline Ingalls and her own entry, Concerto, took the reserve champion spot. Katie Taylor rounded out the top three with her trusty partner, L’Con Reyes, owned by Bravado Farms LLC.
Robert Sean Leckie and Easy Street HU. Photo by Captured Moments Photography
The hunter event took place in the indoor arena under the lights, where course designer Thomas Hern Jr. created a gorgeous derby setting. While guests enjoyed VIP boxes and the intimacy of the indoor, the honorable John Roper and James Waldman adjudicated. The first-round welcomed thirty-one horse and rider combinations and the cut off for the top 12 who returned to show their handiness was 79.5 points.
The handy round featured a number of different ways for competitors to show-off, including four high options, two fences that could be jumped in either direction, two combinations, and opportunities for tidy inside turns. Leckie and Easy Street HU came into the round in second place, but keeping a forward hunter pace, taking all four high options and demonstrating handy turns moved the pair into the winner’s circle.
Leckie was over the moon with his win. “Showing under the lights for the hunter derby tonight was really fun and exciting, and the courses were very well done. The handy track was smooth to ride and it was fun to be able to choose your own course in some places.”
Robert Sean Leckie aboard Easy Street HU, the team from Double Down Farm, LLC with Melissa Brandes and Paul Bennett of Blenheim EquiSports. Photo by Captured Moments Photography.